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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chess for hope and light... even for the visually challenged!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hello everyone,

Of all the chess news we like to carry, it's always very gratifying when we have a story that brings to us the hope and joy of life as inspired by chess. We found this chess report on a national-level open chess tournament held for the visually impaired in India.

And, nice quotes about chess came from the exciting participants. Twelve-year-old said, "the visually impaired are no less than anybody,". He was the youngest participant at the event. 
The  four day rated National Level Open Chess Tournament for the visually challenged ran from January 1-4.

The tournament was conducted to mark the Louis Braille Day by Samarthanam Trust, along with All India Chess Federation for the Blind. The tournament had 71 visually impaired players from 11 different states across India. The tournament had both men and women participants with no separate categories. Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, a Bangalore based NGO, funded the tournament along with free boarding and lodging facilities for the players.

The tournament was aimed at providing a platform for the visually impaired in the field of chess. "Chess is one game where visually impaired players can compete with normal players," says Devaraj, Head Master, Samarthanam School. "Such competitions builds in qualities like advance thinking, strategic thinking and confidence among the players. These things help them further in life too," says Mahantesh G Kivadasannavar, founder, Samarthanam.

"My son has participated in various chess tournaments in our State but its the first time outside," says Guntha Jagannatham. He was accompanying his son, Guntha Sai Krishna, for the tournament from Andhra Pradesh.

"Wish to play with Vishwanathan Anand one day," says 18-year-old, Sai Krishna. He also added that if there is commitment towards the game and confidence to play, anybody can win.

"There are lot of strong players around," says Ashwin K Makwana, 27, Gujarat, the winner of the tournament. He received a cash prize of six thousand rupees. He also added that he was surprised to see so many young players in the tournament who had taken up chess seriously. Makwana is also the current National Champion under All India Chess Federation for the Blind.

The Tournament had two players from Karnataka. The second place was taken by 19-year-old Kishan Gangolli, Karnataka. He received a cash prize of Rs. 4500. "I tried very hard but could not reach the first place," he said. Gangolli had also participated and secured 6th place in the U-19 World Chess Olympaid in 2011. ⊕

You can read the original report here

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